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12 Critical Success Factors for Content

09 May 2011

Hello, Social Rabbit here with your guide to the world of social media.
I thought I would share some more secrets that I learnt at the Problogger Blogging Conference in Melbourne last week.  Today the topic is all about the critical success factors that you need to include in your posting or articles so that your content stands out is engaging and stops your readers in their tracks!  Most of these tips apply to blogging, but you can apply some to ebooks, posting on social networks or video.

1.    Be Remarkable
Stand out from the crowd, no one wants to read the same content or angle on different sites.  Try to be unique, apply your personality to it, or look at the topic from a different angle, people like to read content with personality rather than just a page of facts.
2.    Be More Useful than Others
This is about standing out and having a reason for being, think about how your content will help people, how can you make yours better or easier for them to understand?
3.     Have more depth than others
For example a number of people wrote up notes from the Problogger event, however I am writing mine in a lot more depth and adding my thoughts and comments in.  My notes will turn into about 20 blog posts all up, whereas others wrote theirs in bullet points over 2-6 posts.  This is how I am standing out vs. the other posts.
4.    Be Better Researched
Try and find statistics to back up what you are saying, rather than just state information, and make the research relevant to the point you are trying to make.
5.    Be Attractively presented
First impressions count, as do second and third ones!  Think about what your blog looks like, is it easy to read? easy to find the content?  I was reading a blog yesterday which was black with white text, it looked good, however the text was really hard to read.  Don't try to go all fancy and over the top at the expense of your readers...  If you are giving away an ebook do the same.
6.    Have Magnetic Headlines
Think about what the women's mags put on their covers, for example New Idea has on the front cover this week: \"Freedom at last!\" relating to Shapelle Corby's release from jail, when I read the article it said that the freedom isn't actually guaranteed, but probable.  However, the headline made me read the article.  Use headlines to attract people to your content.
7.    Easy to Grasp
Explain your ideas or thoughts in an easy to understand way, use pictures if you need to, but don't expect people to just get it.  Remember the reason you are explaining it is because this is your area of expertise.
8.    Friendly URL
This is relevant to blogs, try to get your blog hosted, so that it looks like instead of it makes it look MUCH more professional.
9.    WIIFM - Whats In It For Me
You want to be thinking this with every piece of content you write - what are your readers going to take out of it?  What's in it for them?  Why should they read?  Is it worth their time?  Are you doing what you promised initially?  Are you adding value?
10.    Minimum Hype
Not every post you write will be earth shattering, and your readers won't expect that, after all how can you keep that up?  Try to mix up your content, so you have more everyday useful ideas along with some WOW posts.
11.    Prominent Placement
This is all about making sure that  your posts or free content are appearing where they stand out, don't hide them away.  If you want people to read your info make it easy to find.
12.    No Barriers
If you want your information/posts/content to go viral then make it easy for people to get them, for example don't ask for their entire life history before they can download a 1 page pdf.
With these 12 success factors in place I have no doubt that your readers will loving your content and sending all their friends your way!
If you have any great blogging tips that work please share them below in the comments, it's great to be able to see what others are doing.